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NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Houston



(Wednesday, October 30th)

Final Score: Houston 96, Charlotte 83

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard showed why he was the most coveted free agent of this past offseason, matching a career high with 26 rebounds in his Houston debut to help the Rockets to a 96-83 season-opening victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at the Toyota Center.

Howard, who inked a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July after a prolonged courtship by several suitors, added 17 points in his first game with his new team. James Harden totaled 21 points in the win, with Francisco Garcia tallying 19 and fellow reserve Jeremy Lin scoring 16 for Houston.

Behind Howard's efforts and a 14-rebound performance from counterpart big man Omer Asik, the Rockets dominated Charlotte on the glass to the tune of a 54-37 advantage.

"For our team to get out and run we've got to clean the boards and not give teams second chances," Howard said. "We just have to try to hold them to one shot every possession and that way we can get out and run. Our defense was pretty solid tonight."

Josh McRoberts paced the Bobcats with 15 points and Ramon Sessions had 14 in the loss. Al Jefferson, Charlotte's major free-agent pickup over the summer, finished with 13 points and eight rebounds while playing through a sprained ankle.

"I was a little rusty and I most definitely am not in game shape and I missed a lot of shots I would normally make," Jefferson admitted. "I haven't played in two and a half weeks, but it was just good to get back out there."

Houston's season of high expectations got off to a rocky start, as the rebuilding Bobcats scored the game's first six points and led for much of the opening quarter as the Rockets shot just 30 percent (6-for-20) for the period.

The contest remained a tight one for much of the second quarter before Houston began to assert itself over the last six minutes of the frame.

Harden had the first four points of an 11-0 run that staked the Rockets to a 38-29 lead with four minutes left in the half. Shortly afterward, Garcia drained one of his five baskets from 3-point range to put Houston up by a 41-31 count.

Charlotte managed to close the gap to 45-39 at intermission, with Kemba Walker notching all 12 of his points prior to the break, and the deficit was cut to one when McRoberts knocked down a triple with 5:19 left in the third quarter for a 57-56 game.

Though the Bobcats stayed within striking distance for a good portion of the second half, Houston finally started to pull away in the final quarter. The Rockets strung together an 11-2 burst, highlighted by Howard's thunderous alley-oop jam off a Harden give, to extend the margin to 80-68 with under six minutes to play.

Houston maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way, with Harden pouring in 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting during the fourth quarter.

Game Notes

Charlotte shot just 36.7 percent from the field for the game, but committed just eight turnovers to the Rockets' 19 ... The Rockets have now prevailed in six straight meetings in the series, with the Bobcats having lost nine straight in Houston since a 101-100 overtime decision at the Toyota Center on Dec. 18, 2004 ... Bobcats rookie Cody Zeller, the fourth overall pick in this past June's draft, had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in his NBA debut ... Guard Ben Gordon did not play for Charlotte due to a right knee injury that sidelined him for much of the preseason, while forward Terrence Jones (shoulder) sat out for Houston.

10/31 01:02:28 ET

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Schedule

Sunday, April 20Full Scoreboard
Dallas85Final | Box
San Antonio «90
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Antonio leads series, 1-0.
Charlotte88Final | Box
Miami «99
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Miami leads series, 1-0.
Washington «102Final | Box
Chicago93
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Washington leads series, 1-0.
Portland «122Final(OT) | Box
Houston120
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Portland leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR